Sparrho bags $3m to combat ‘fake news’

The business, which utilises AI to help users navigate its database of scientific papers, will use the funding to grow its team and scale its platform

Sparrho, a platform looking to stop the widespread belief in ‘fake news’, has secured $3m in a pre-Series A round led by White Cloud Capital with AllBright and Beast Ventures.

Co-founded by Dr. Vivian Chan, Sparrho aims to “democratise science” by providing the public with access to over 60 million scientific research papers, patents and publications, eliminating the need to pay expensive subscriptions to academic journals.

Blending artificial intelligence (AI) with the curation of human experts, the platform aims to help users find and read the information that they are interested inwithout fear of coming across false information or ‘alternative facts’ – that are often presented as true on social media.

Based in London, Sparrho now boasts a community of one million users across 150 countries, with more than 700,000 pieces of content shared by users to date. The business says that its network consists of PhD researchers, academics, students and citizens.

Using the investment, Sparrho will now grow its team and scale its platform.

Reflecting the increasing diversity of the UK’s small business landscape, Dr. Chan is among a number of female entrepreneurs whose start-ups have attracted large amounts of investment in recent years, despite accessing capital serving as one of the biggest challenges that women in business face.

AllBright, which is among Sparrho’s investors, was founded to help female entrepreneurs overcome this problem and recently launched AllBright Crowd; a crowdfunding platform showcasing female-led UK businesses.

Dr. Chan, CEO and co-founder at Sparrho, commented:

“The appetite for direct access to scientific thinking has never been greater. Some of Sparrho’s most dedicated users are members of the public and their interest in science is often driven by their profession, personal interests or medical conditions.

“Enterprise is simultaneously looking for new ways to showcase its own science thinking and stay on top of its research landscape. Meanwhile, members of the scientific community commonly report feeling “siloed” in their area of research, and wish to communicate their work in new and dynamic ways.”

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